No we’re going to war in Yemen
Well maybe not us (USA) but a bunch of other folks sure the hell are and what that means for us is something we should look deeper into. As brought up in a previous post and very much added to in the comments section of that post Yemen has some history going for it that makes what is evolving there worthy of concern. Yemen is a politically cobbled together nation. The 1990 handiwork of the world order that all so often creates a bigger headache than the one it set forth to cure. The devolution of Yemen has set it back to a point that at least rivals the geopolitical folly of the days of North Yemen and South Yemen. North Yemen aka The Yemen Arab Republic had what one may consider in context of todays headlines a confusing history. Formed out of the trappings of the collapsing Ottoman Empire the area was ruled as a monarchy. A civil war erupted that saw Egypt supporting the YAR as a republic and Saudi Arabia and Jordan supporting the forces that wanted to maintain the monarchy. I find these roots although somewhat oversimplified here to be very interesting given the present happenings.The three nations are now part of a group of ten attacking the area in the name of restoring the toppled central government. This is bullshit btw but more on that later. South Yemen aka The Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen came about via independence from the British Empire and further evolutions that resulted in a Marxist government securing rule,hence its fancy and obvious name. This now cast the countries as a focal point of the Cold War. Opportunities in the “north” and “commies” in the south. Unification occurred in 1990 as noted earlier and in less than a decade the country became a focal point of the West this time for its rising islamist issues. October 2000 drove the point home to the greater publics attention with the bombing of the USS Cole while it was in port in Aden,Yemen. Aden is the former capital of the PDRY/South Yemen state.
The Headlines Today.
The Houthis are continuing the consolidations and are actually trying to cobble together other parties to establish an independent state along the lines of the former YAR. One group they are working with are loyalists to former President Saleh.Saleh is the leader who as fucked up as he was allowed the US to attack AQAP positions on a regular basis. It is questionable as to whether the Houthi majority would welcome greater involvement in a unified state. As things are rolling out that doesn’t seem likely. Its more likely they support a new separation. AQAP and now ISIL aka Daesh are ramping up their activities against the Shiites. They see the Houthis as an even more loathsome entity as regular Shiites. They also clearly recognize an opportunity when it is right in front of them. They undoubtedly catch a break now that the new coalition has begun operations against Houthis. In no small part the US anti-terror actions over the past decade + played a role in complicating Yemeni domestic politics up to and including the downfall of Saleh. The US made many strikes over the years in a constant attempt to squash AQAP. One strike of note was the Predator assault that killed US/Yemeni citizen Anwar al-Awlaki who lead AQAP operations. Saudi Arabia is leading the foreign intervention in Yemen. Along with Egypt, Sudan, Morocco, and Qatar the alliance is ponying up assets that make their previous deployments in Syria and Libya look as pathetic as they were. This is where we get into the bullshit I mentioned earlier. The House of Saud cares more about two clear points over any concern for a regional neighbor. The Saudis are in pretty much open war with Iran. The Saudis also have a huge issue with the Houthis sitting on their border and pipeline routes.2009 saw Houthis threatening these assets outright. By attacking the Houthis the unholy alliance is aiding and abetting AQAP whether they want to admit it or not. Houthis talk about hating America,Israel and others but they put their money where their mouths are when the shoot AQAP,Daesh Sunni scumbags and that in my eyes is the better check to take to the bank.
So what’s an Uncle Sam to do?
I don’t know what to say. I’m so totally torn. I can’t support the Saudis decision to do what they’re doing so my gas prices go up. I don’t really like to admit it but for reasons other than the middle finger to the Saudis Iran is doing the world a favor by helping to strangle AQAP. If AQAP is allowed to rule in this area my gas prices will really rise. Sadly the USA has joined in with the Saudis and are providing logistical support.They’ve actually rescued two pilots in the Gulf of Aden. The situation in Yemen is being played up as a stabilizing action. Shockingly stupid! This is an event of escalation that only complicates the USA’s ability to pivot out and for the globe to enjoy the uneasy and dirty stability the region has offered for decades.